New Delhi, Aug 31: Senior Ministers Rajiv Pratap Rudy and Uma Bharti reportedly resigned from the Narendra Modi government on Thursday. Their resignations comes ahead of the much awaited Cabinet reshuffle, expected to take place on Saturday.
According to TV reports, Union Minister Arun Jaitley is likely to give up the defence portfolio, which he was heading after the resignation of Manohar Parrikar in March.
Rudy, whose exit from the Modi Cabinet was confirmed on Thursday night, was Minister of State in the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, whereas, Bharti was heading the Union Water Resources Ministry.
Apart from the two ministers, MoS, Human Resources, Mahendra Lal Pandey also submitted his resignation. Pandey’s exit was rumoured over the past few days after he was appointed as the Uttar Pradesh BJP chief.
Rudy, reports claim, would be assigned a crucial organisational role in the party to compensate his exit from the Cabinet.
Apart from the three senior leaders, reports claim Union Ministers Sanjeev Balyan, Nirmala Sitharaman, Kalraj Mishra and Giriraj Singh are also submitted their resignations. However, confirmation was awaited.
Earlier in the day, BJP president Amit Shah chaired a meeting of top BJP leaders in the national capital, ANI reported. The meeting was attended by Finance Minister Jaitley. Sources within the BJP said it was confirmed in the meet to relieve Jaitley of the Defence charge, which he has been handling along with Defence.
Among ministers holding the additional portfolios include Smriti Irani, who was given the additional charge of Information and Broadcasting, after the elevation of M Venkaiah Naidu to the Vice President’s post. She is also heading the Textile Ministry, which she was awarded after the Cabinet rejig in 2016.
Harsh Vardhan, who is heading the Ministry of Science and Technology, was charged to head the Ministry of Environment following the demise of Anil Madhav Dave in May.
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu was among the probables to be removed from the Cabinet, considering the resignation offered by him following the back-toback train derailment incidents in UP’s Muzaffarnagar and Auriya districts.
After Prabhu offered his resignation last week, Prime Minister Modi reportedly asked him to continue till he takes decision in the matter.
The fresh Cabinet rejig is expected by Saturday, after President Ram Nath Kovind returns from his two-day visit to Andhra Pradesh.
The Janata Dal (United), which recently returned to the NDA fold, is also expected to be accommodated in the Cabinet.
The united AIADMK – comprising of the factions led by Chief Minister E Palaniswami and and former CM O Panneerselvam – is also expected to join the NDA. In case of them joining the BJP-led camp, they are likely to be offered a berth in the Cabinet.
Some election-bound states, including Congress-ruled Karnataka, could get greater representation in the council of ministers. Karnataka will go for assembly polls next year.
The last cabinet reshuffle took place in July last year in which Modi inducted 19 new faces and elevated Minister of State for Environment Prakash Javadekar to cabinet rank. Five junior ministers were also dropped.